Vegan Health ArticlesCancer-Fighting Cranberries
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From by Michael Greger, MD

Cranberries, one of only three commonly-eaten fruits native to North America, have been shown to exert a wide variety of health benefits including the prevention of urinary tract infections.[1] In 2002, researchers dripped a number of fruit extracts on human liver cancer cells in a Petri dish to see if any of them would slow down tumor growth.

Out of the near dozen common fruits they tried, the most potent inhibitor of cancer growth was cranberries.[2] So in 2003, researchers pitted cranberries against three other types of human cancers--breast, cervical and prostate--and the cranberries won again, significantly restraining cancer cell proliferation.[3] Now UCLA researchers are back, this time testing cranberries against a whole panel of 9 different human cancer cell lines.

Sprinkling just a few millionths of a gram of powdered cranberries on human oral, colon and prostate cancer cells brought their growth to a screeching halt, inhibiting their proliferation as much as 99.6%. The researchers concluded "The observed antiproliferative activities of cranberry phytochemicals against tumor cells provide some basic evidence for the potential anticancer effects of cranberry polyphenols and suggest that studies of cranberry extracts should be carried out... ultimately in human cancer prevention trials."[4]

What do you do with cranberries though (other than sauce, that is)?

For some healthy cranberry recipes, check out :

I'm sipping some blended into my flax smoothie right now as I type.


1 New England Journal of Medicine 339(1998):1085.

2 Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 50(2002):7449.

3 Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 51(2003):3541.

4 Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 52(2004):2512.

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We began this archive as a means of assisting our visitors in answering many of their health and diet questions, and in encouraging them to take a pro-active part in their own health. We believe the articles and information contained herein are true, but are not presenting them as advice. We, personally, have found that a whole food vegan diet has helped our own health, and simply wish to share with others the things we have found. Each of us must make our own decisions, for it's our own body. If you have a health problem, see your own physician.